The Many Faces of the Man of Steel


The Legendary L's

Author unknown, 1968

If you are a regular reader of the Superman magazines, the initials 'L.L.' on the cover of this issue undoubtedly rang a bell in your mind when you saw them. For these letters have played a significant part in the life of the Man of Steel. For the benefit or readers who are new to the Superman Legend, here is a rundown on some of the more prominent Double-L's.

Superman's parents, Jor-El and Lara, named their son Kal-El. And that family name, El-pronounced exactly like the English letter L-proved to be a portent of things to come.

When Krypton exploded, young Kal-El was rocketed to Earth by his father-just in time. He landed in the outskirts of Smallville-a town with TWO double-L's. There he grew up as Clark Kent, son of Jonathan and Martha Kent; and there he began his crimebusting career as Superboy.

Superboy's first girl friend was Lana Lang, daugther of Prof. Lewis Lang. At one time his best friend was young Lex Luthor, who later turned villain.

The Boy of Steel became a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, and among his fellow Legionnaires were still other L.L.'s: Lightning Lad, Light Lass, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Triplicate Girl (who later became Duo Damsel when one of the three bodies into wich she could split was killed), and Star Boy, whose real name is Thom Kallor; One of the member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes is Chlorophyll Kid.

While attending Metropolis University, Clark met and fell in love with the beautifull Lori Lemaris, a mermaid from Atlantis. But they parted and Lori later married Ronal, a Merman doctor from another world.

After graduation, Clark went to work at the Daily Planet, where, two of his fellows reporters were Lois lane and Jimmy Olsen. What's that? You say Jimmy is not an L.L.? But his full name is James Bartolomew Olsen, and he uses a special serum to become Elastic Lad. So Jimmy is actually TWO L.L.'s!

Then there is Superman's cousin, Supergirl, whose secret identity is Linda Lee Danvers. His parents, Zor-El and Allura (another L.L.) live in the bottle city of Kandor. Linda's best friend for some time was Lena Thorul, who, although she doesn't know it, is really Lena Luthor, sister of the villanous Lex. Lena is married now, but still an L.L. Lena Colby.

Lois comes from a family of L.L.'s. Not only her sister, Lucy Lane, but her parents, Samuel and Ella Lane, fit in this category. Lori also has another L.L. in the family her younger sister, Leonora Lemaris.

There have been other romances in Superman's life -and every one was an L.L. for instance, there was Lyla Lerrol, the Kriptonian movie actress whom he met when he went back in time and visited his world before it exploded. With his powers gone, the former Man of Steel resigned himself to dying when Krypton did. He was engaged to Lyla when a fantastic accident sent him rocketing away from Krypton in a ship that was supossed to be only a movie prop. So he escaped the planet's impending doom, but lost Lyla.

Once, when red kryptonite removed his powers and gave him amnesia, Clark met a girl named Sally Sellwyn who fell for him. But he forget her when his memory returned. And later, when a man who looked like him died saving her life, she believed the man she loved had perished.

There where many others -Lahla, a super-woman of another world who only liked Superman when he had no powers; Lyrica Lloyd, the lovely movie actress who died of an incurable disease; Lloru of the planet Moxia, a red-sun planet, where Clark went when he temporarily gave up his Superman identity; and Liza Landis, a female pest whom he met when he went back in time and tried to star over in a new career as a disc jockey.

Besides Luthor, there are other L.L. foes, such as Lightning Lord, of the Legion of Super-Villains, and Lesla-Lar, who was Supergirl's arch-enemy until she was killed by some Phantom Zone criminal.

Superman and his friends have been in stories involving such L.L.'s as Sherlock Holmes, Sitting Bull, William Tell, Achilles, Abraham Lincoln, Apollo, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Halley's Comet, Lord Lucifer (the Devil), Lady Luck, and a Little Leaguer, who once saved Superman from Kryptonite.

We can add Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, Batman's foe, who also gave Superman some trouble; Barry Allen, who is really Superman's fellow Justice League member, the Flash; Stanhope College, wich Supergirl attends; Elizabelle Fry, whom Clark met in Crater Valley, where a comunity of Cuaquers lives, sealed off from the world; and Lediv and Liada, two sorceresses who once took over the bodies of Lana and Lois.

Even in the Broadway musical, 'It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman', there was an L.L. -Linda Lavin, who played a columnist's secretary. On radio, the voice of Superman was Bud Collyer, who also contributes his voice to the current Superman-Aquaman Hour on TV. One of the long-time Superman artist is Al Plastino. And let's not forget the most important of all -National Periodical Publication!.

This article appeared Feb., 1968 in Superman No. 204 in response to reader inquiries about the reasons behind the double L's in Superman's life.
Created by: Erin Barnes • Dave Hendrick • Chris Yeung